It is great news that our sister church in Malawi, the CCAP (Church in Central Africa Presbyterian [https://bit.ly/2OgFBbZ]) offered a Leadership and Marriage Seminar from 14 to 17 November to the ministers of our sister church in Mozambique, the IRM (Igreja Reformada em Mozambique [https://bit.ly/2NADmuW])Mphatso Synod once again. It took place at Vila Ulóngùe in North West Mozambique. Rev. Bosman Chitheka and his wife, and Drs Davidson and Phoebe Chifungo, facilitated the seminar.

Dr Davidson Chifungo shares with us, “I would like to inform you that the seminar in Mozambique was very, very successful.  We really praise God that pastors and wives appreciated such a great support.  The Moderamen shared with me that one year has passed since the last training and as a church they had not had any disciplinary issues with the pastors, not even rumours.  Another pastor shared that their marriage is renewed and that they go back to their congregation with new vision for the family and ministry.

“One couple shared that last year they were at the verge of divorce, the wife had already packed her belongings and she was just waiting for time to leave the manse and go away, but now they have been reconciled and living happily.  He pleaded that this training should continue because it saved their marriage, his ministry and through him saved many marriages in his congregation.  He is using the material to train others.

“The wives shared that they find the seminar a safe haven for them to share their deeper feelings about what they go through and it allows healing to take place.

Rev. Miguel Nobre, the General Secretary of the IRM Mphatso Synod says, “The seminar strengthened our marriages. In addition, we happily learnt that a shared leadership in the marriage is a blessing to both the couple and to the church. All the the pastors and their wives went back home as renewed couples and willing to practice the teachings. We learnt that communication is a very useful tool at our hand.”

Dr Chifungo continues, “We did a lot of teaching, discussions, prayers and individual counselling for families who needed help.  For me the level of trust that has been built is amazing, only God can do it.  In Africa family issues are very closed, it is a closed culture.  But the pastors come to us for counselling.  During counselling one pastor revealed to us that he had not been faithful to his wife. In tears he confessed and apologized to his wife, asked us to pray for them for a new start. In the end we asked the couples to pray that they will remain faithful to each other and to God.

“Although we spent most of the nights counselling the couples, the joy of service to the Lord outweighed the burden of exhaustion.

“Thanks to Witness Ministry for providing the support in terms of finances and also prayers.   This helps really in building the Church of God.  Some of our pastors have to travel more than 400 km and they are mostly lonely and stressed, so this seminar also provided an opportunity for retreat and reflection.”

Contact Kobus Odendaal at missio@kaapkerk.co.za for more information.